Freedom is not having more brands of cereal to choose from, or more beach vacations to take selfies on, or more satellite channels to fall asleep to. That is variety. And in a vacuum, variety is meaningless.

It must be an odd time to be a super-successful businessperson. On the one hand, business is better than ever. There’s more wealth in the world than ever before, profits are breaking all-time highs, productivity and growth are doing great. Yet, meanwhile, income inequality is skyrocketing, political polarization is ruining everyone’s family gatherings, and there seems to be a plague of corruption spreading across the world.

So, while there’s exuberance in the business world, there’s also a weird sort of defensiveness that sometimes comes out of nowhere. And this defensiveness, I’ve noticed, always takes the same form, no matter who it comes from. It says: “We’re just giving people what they want!”

Whether it’s oil companies or creepy advertisers or Facebook stealing your damn data, every corporation that steps in some shit scrapes off their boot by frantically reminding everyone how they’re just trying to give people what they want—faster download speeds, more comfortable air-conditioning, better gas mileage, a cheaper nose hair trimmer—and how wrong can that be?

And it is true. Technology gives people what they want faster and more efficiently than ever before. And while we all love to dogpile on the corporate overlords for their ethical faceplants, we forget that they’re merely fulfilling the market’s desires. They’re supplying our demands. And if we got rid of Facebook or BP or whatever-giant-corporation-is-considered-evil-when-you-read-this, another would pop up to take its place.

So, maybe the problem isn’t just a bunch of greedy executives tapping cigars and petting evil cats while laughing hysterically at how much money they’re making.

Maybe what we want sucks.

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 Πηγή: markmanson.net

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